If you have ever stepped into our office, for a meeting and an espresso perhaps, you might have wondered, what is with the enormous YES, emblazoned on the wall in the office of our president? Are these simply the most optimistic people in history? Well, yes, but it’s a little more complicated than that. As marketing professionals, we take pride in what we do. So much pride in fact, that our marketing strategies can’t help but bleed into the other aspects of our life… even our office decor. And this simple YES represents one of our most dearly held beliefs: the power of priming.
This simple choice engages with the subconscious mind. Without even realizing it, these big letters prime our team and visitors to feel uplifted and confident walking into our office. Upon first viewing, you can instantly recognize that Ameba is a bold, powerful, and positive company. This YES is a part of our brand. The way these letters make you feel, might contribute to your positive experience, enjoying our services. In turn, your overall positive experience we hope will eventually lead to some brand loyalty. So how do you harness this power? How do you engage with the subconscious mind? Let’s dive in…
Under the Influence
Just like when answering a survey, if your audience thinks they know what is going on, they get on board and answer accordingly. In a survey, this might look like answers that are influenced by previous questions. For purchases, this might look like a decision to buy influenced by the associated colors, images, music, messages, celebrities, and familiarity of your brand. All of these things help to prime your audience to better understand your brand and feel not only an awareness, but a true connection.
Brand awareness is about more than just the knowledge that your product exists. It’s also about building familiarity. The more aware people are about your brand, the more they will recognize it. And the more they recognize it, the more familiar it starts to feel. This feeling of familiarity leads to a comfort that makes people more interested in purchasing. People have a pretty strong tendency to see the familiar as more desirable — especially when under a time crunch. Awareness is simply not enough to create a lasting emotional connection. They need a release of oxytocin. We want them to love it! This love creates brand loyalty. You’re loyal to the ones you love right? You probably are loyal to the products you love, too.
Cup of Joe
Say you are a diehard Starbucks fan. You feel like you know that taste down to your soul. It’s important enough to just think that you’re drinking your favorite brand to elicit uncontrollable responses: a sense of relaxation, comfort, maybe even some saliva. Sound familiar?
This is because it can actually trigger the limbic system. Your favorite cup of joe, whether it’s Starbucks, or Nespresso, can light up your dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus. (impressed? You should be) These special locations in the brain connect your sense of taste to your culture, eliciting uncontrollable emotions. So while any cup of coffee might be able to trigger the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, or the part of your brain that understands taste, only the belief that it’s your favorite brand can reach that cultural trigger at the hippocampus.
If you own a retail space, the music you play in your store can affect customer purchase decisions and their experience of a product. Even your brand’s association impacts your customers’ actions. Want to seem upbeat? Go with quick, high energy rhythms. Want to seem mellow? Opt for slower beats than the adult resting heart rate.
Color Me Red
Something as simple as color triggers emotions. Brands are often known by their associated colors. You might have heard of our top choice: red. This is often associated with passion, love, and strength. What do your colors say about your brand and the customers you want to attract?
An image is worth a thousand words. The few things a copywriter can’t say, an image surely can. Every picture you use can serve to create brand awareness that associates your product with certain emotions. A picture of a baby? Think of all of the ideas this might elicit: safety, family, care, life. If you want to resonate with customers on these ideas then a picture is sure to do the trick.
Let’s Get Ethical
This is pretty powerful stuff. So let’s be sure to do it ethically. This means being the expert your customers deserve, but earning their trust before you go making promises. Understand and connect with what they want. But prey on passions rather than exploiting customer needs. Work on their hearts, and let their brain join in on the fun.
If you come on too strong, priming loses its effect. Your hard work to build brand awareness won’t translate into brand loyalty if your tactics are obvious and people know what is going on. This effect is an art and it needs to be subconscious. People thinking you can do mind control to get them to purchase might be bad for business.
So what’s the next step? Now that you have primed, you next create an expectation. This goes beyond a positive perspective that gets them to purchase. You want them to love your brand and see themselves being better, happier, and more self-actualized because of it. And that makes them really, really desire it. That’s the recipe for BRANDcebo. But we might have already said too much… Stay tuned here or buy the book to get in on the action.